Pickering and Megarry star in Cookstown YFC win

John Scott makes a run against Moyola Olympic
John Scott makes a run against Moyola Olympic

Cookstown had a big victory over local rivals Moyola Park Olympic at a damp, blustery Mid Ulster Sports Arena.

With so many matches postponed due to the weather it was only now that Cookstown manager Niall Hunter could give debuts to January signings Mark Megarry and Ryan Pickering.

Cookstown Youth looked menacing from the kick-off and they took the lead in the first minute. A freekick by Leslie was met by O’Neill who headed the ball into the net.

From the kick-off Olympic lost the ball and debutante Megarry was there to slot the ball home and extend the lead to 2-0. Matters got worse for Olympic when on five minutes the forward partnership of Megarry and McMenemy showed its potential. Megarry picked the ball up 40 yards from goal and carried the ball into the box before unselfishly squaring to McMenemy who blasted the ball into the back of the net.

It was only now that Moyola started to play football and for the next 20 minutes they besieged the Cookstown goal

Danny McElhatton, who was partnering McKenna in midfield, had a pop shot out from 30 yards but his effort went over the bar. Johnny O’Neill had two great chances to add to his goal tally only to see his attempts foiled by the crossbar and the young Olympic keeper.

With Cookstown mounting a serious assault on the Olympic goal it was the visitors who broke away only to be brought down by Donaghy in the Cookstown goal. The referee pointed to the spot but the attempt went wide.

Olympic’s Kevin Loughran was looking lively up front and he had a few chances to reduce the margin only to see a few of his efforts go wide .

At half time McMenemy was replaced by Ryan Pickering and it was this young debutante who started to boss things. McElhatton had a free kick but blazed it over the bar before O’Neill hit the woodwork for the second time.

Megarry was a thorn in the Olympic defence’s side and again turned provider. He cut in from the left flank and glided an inch perfect ball onto Pickering’s head for the striker to head into an empty net.

Moyola, to their credit, still pushed for a goal and it was Luke Donaghy in the Cookstown goal who prevented several good efforts from going in.

Danny McElhatton was repaced by speed merchant Mark Larmour. Taking the ball on the right wing Larmour blazed down on the goal, beating three defenders, with all the hard work done and an empty goal at his mercy he managed to put the ball wide.

With the game coming to an end it was Pickering who finished the scoring when he sidestepped the keeper and shot low and hard into the goal to make the final score on the day 5-0.

Cookstown YFC: Donaghy, Leslie, Scott, S. McElhatton, Dardis, McKenna, D. McElhatton, Doyle, O’Neill, McMenemy, Megarry. Subs: Pickering, McMullan, Larmour, Glasgow, Millar.

This Saturday Cookstown YFC travel to play Division 1 leaders Ballyclare Comarades in round two of the Canada Cup.